Adoption Day! What Happens In Court?
Updated: Mar 26
You’re almost there! What’s adoption day like in court? We will take you through the process of what happens on this special day to confirm your adoption.
Adoption day in the courtroom is the same whether it is an international adoption, a step-parent adoption, the domestic adoption of a newborn, a foster care adoption, or even an adult adoption. All these processes will have the same criteria in the courtroom. For the in-court process of adoption, these are the steps to follow.
Step 1: Hire An Experienced Adoption Attorney
Hiring someone to represent you is a critical decision, and one of the first that should be made. An experienced adoption attorney, aside from having experience with adoption, is a more reliable choice than someone like a family law attorney. Not that other attorneys are less worthy or knowledgeable, but because their expertise is not specifically in adoptions.
Plenty of our clients originally approached a family law attorney without knowing the alternatives and subsequently didn’t succeed at adopting their child. Just as you would approach an immigration lawyer for your immigration or a criminal lawyer for criminal defense, an adoption lawyer is your best bet for adoption.
Step 2: File Adoption Papers with the Court
Filing your adoption paperwork with the court is a key step because it will determine the date you will appear before a judge and complete your adoption. The paperwork will vary depending on the adoption process you’re working through. For example, international or domestic adoption will require your attorney to file all the paperwork he/she receives through the respective adoption agency that you use. Your caseworker will need to send all the relevant information that your attorney will need to complete your adoption. For a stepparent adoption, however, your lawyer will gather all the necessary paperwork and file it with the court before receiving a hearing date.
This step is important because if the information isn’t filed in the right places, you can’t continue the court process. It’s important that you pick an attorney with the right expertise to help the process go as smoothly as possible.
Step 3: Adoption Day!
Congratulations! On adoption day, you will arrive at the courthouse with your attorney. If you are married, both you and your spouse must be present with the child who will be adopted. Typically, friends and family may attend the hearing. These hearings are private, however, meaning they are not public affairs. Anyone in attendance must be a verified acquaintance of either you or your spouse. That being said, feel free to bring as many friends and relatives as you’d like to celebrate this momentous occasion.
Once you, your spouse, and your guests have settled into the courtroom, your attorney will ask you a direct set of questions along with the judge. After all the questions have been answered, the judge will sign a document called the decree of adoption. This document officially makes you the legal parent of the child. Afterward, you will get a new birth certificate, and update your child’s social security number and insurance information.
Our team at Bundy Law is beyond excited about this next new chapter in your family’s growing history. If you have yet to get started and need an adoption attorney, our team is ready to help! Book your free call here!